Benjamin Peter, edited by Gauthier Delomez 06:14, October 05, 2022

The city of Toulouse is embarking on the construction of its third metro line, and to carry out this pharaonic project, its monument to the dead in the shape of the Arc de Triomphe and classified as a historic monument will soon be mounted on wheels and moved to allow digging a station in its basement.

1,300 tons, 15 meters high and almost as long, the building to the Glory of the combatants of Haute-Garonne in Toulouse is impressive.

However, below, Tisséo, the city's transport network, has planned to dig a station 45 meters deep.

This must be carried out as part of the pharaonic construction of the third metro line of the metropolis, and this station cannot be built elsewhere.

The monument will be moved on wheels.

Credits: Tisséo Engineering

Multiple constraints

"We are in an environment which is extremely constrained", notes Jean-François Lascroux, director of Tisséo Ingénierie, at the microphone of Europe 1.


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Constraints "on the surface with old buildings, a plant heritage with plane trees, but there is also everything that we do not see underground such as the existing metro line B and then the Carnot car park, so finally that leaves few possibilities", he adds, "especially since we are on a transport project, so we are trying to facilitate connections between stations."

Veterans associations consulted

The engineers considered digging below, but the monument risks becoming fragile.

They first thought of dismantling it stone by stone, but it will eventually be surrounded by a steel exoskeleton and moved.

The technical manager of the operation, Michaël Massaad, explains on Europe 1: "(The monument) will be lifted using jacks. Afterwards, we have platforms on wheels which will be placed underneath and which will move it physically. We will rotate it 90 degrees so that it can pass between the existing trees, to bring it to its storage place 40 meters from its current location.

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The construction site will begin at the beginning of next year and the trip will take place in July 2023. The associations of veterans have been consulted, and they will be able to gather at other monuments in the city during the work.

They also received the assurance that this building in the shape of the Arc de Triomphe and classified as a historic monument will be replaced to the nearest centimeter in the same place, and even restored by the opening of the station in 2028.